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World’s First Biodegradable Water Bottle Set for US Debut

Made of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), the industrially compostable Cove bottle will be sold in Erewhon stores in Los Angeles starting December 1.

Rick Lingle, Senior Technical Editor

November 22, 2022

2 Min Read
A Cove bottle will disintegrate in 90 days in an industrial compost facility, and "less than five years" if left outside.Image courtesy of Cove

California-based material innovation company Cove announced a partnership with Los Angeles premium organic grocer Erewhon, making it the first retailer for Cove's fully biodegradable water bottles. The bottle and cap are made of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). 

Cove's 20-ounce water bottles will sell for $2.99 at all six Erewhon stores throughout Los Angeles starting December 1, as well as online at cove.co. Cove plans to announce new retail partners in coming months as they scale manufacturing at the Los Angeles facility.

The sparse graphics printed on the bottle front, which are printed with an algae-based ink according to Bloomberg, state “Biodegradable bottle".

"Cove entering retail is a significant milestone for the company,” says Alex Totterman, founder and CEO of Cove. “It was important for us to find a mission-aligned retail partner to debut Cove. [We're] excited to take a big step forward in our mission to create a sustainable material world. Erewhon will also offer a valuable end-of life-option for our customers by allowing them to deposit their used Cove bottles into their bins for compostables, which will then be routed to a local compost operation for biological recycling."

"We were incredibly excited to be part of this innovative and potentially world-changing moment."

"Erewhon has celebrated the amazing benefits of naturally grown foods and the importance of preserving the earth for more than 50 years and continues to lead the way in conscious consumption today," states Vito Antoci, executive vice president of Erewhon Markets. "When we were introduced to Cove, we were incredibly excited to be part of this innovative and potentially world-changing moment for consumer packaged goods companies— the world's first fully biodegradable water bottle is something we are very proud to be launching at Erewhon."

The PHA in Cove's bottles and caps is certified biodegradable by TÜV Austria in marine, soil, and freshwater environments, as well as in industrial and home composting. Cove bottles and caps are said to compost in industrial conditions within 90 days.

Left in the environment, the bottles will disintegrate in water and soil in less than five years.

The forthcoming launch is the culmination of four years’ research and development by Cove. Backed by a group of investors including Valor Equity, Marc Benioff, James Murdoch, Tony Robbins and Peter Rahal, Cove was named the Plastic-Free Innovation of The Year in 2019 by Dieline.

It’s the latest news pointing to increased interest in bioplastics in general and PHA in particular; the PHA market is expected to grow 5.4% yearly to 2029, reports Data Bridge Market Research.

About the Author(s)

Rick Lingle

Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday

Rick Lingle is Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree from Clarke College and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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